Shame – Attacking yourself

In Part 3 of Bergwensa (Shame) you see how Oscar’s father struggles with the situation. He wants to play a bigger role in the family, but doesn’t get the chance to do so. He is also afraid that his ex might prevent him from contacting his son, that she might use this to her advantage. He therefore finds it difficult to contact his son, whom he misses so much.

We asked the Guardianship Council and Akseso how the role of the father is perceived in a family. They frequently encounter situations in which the man is trapped within a family, wanting to do right by his family, wanting to do things differently from how he grew up himself, but feeling he is failing in this respect. And then getting caught up in believing he isn’t good enough.

Rudshain Djinga, social worker at Akseso;
A reaction we often see in families where there are a lot of accusations back and forth is that the man in the family eventually withdraws. The arguments and accusations break down his self-esteem. Society expects men to stand up, be tough and be the leader of the family. If this expectation cannot be met, it often results in disappointment. It's not always easy to talk to each other properly and be honest about your feelings. They are skills that men aren't always taught while they're growing up.

Femke Franckaert, council investigator, Guardianship Council
When families come to us for support, we try to restore the balance in the family, by looking at the problems together and recommending assistance. Many men do want to play a role in the family, but don't really know how to go about it. They get stuck and then attack themselves. They no longer feel valuable, are disappointed in themselves and wind up in a downward spiral.
 

For any form of violence or suspected violence, you can contact:

Guiami, the advice and hotline for domestic violence and child abuse 
Tel. 0802 0802
www.meldpuntguiami.com/en/